With the second lockdown in effect, popular coffee chain Caffè Nero has been forced to to launch a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which allows them to renegotiate the terms it has with the landlords, as well as other creditors.
The company employs approximately 6,000 workers and has 800 shops across the UK, in addition to a further 200 shops overseas.
Many of the shops have been converted to take-away only shops during the first lockdown in March. However, the coffee chain has said that “the pandemic has decimated trading”.
Caffè Nero hopes that the CVA will allow them “to better manage its fixed costs moving forward” and if creditors agree they can continue to trade and pay the creditors over a fixed period of time.
Similar to Caffè Nero, during the summer, coffee houses Pret a Manger and Costa Coffee have said they will cut 3,000 jobs and 1,650 jobs respectively.
While many workers have remained redundant, remaining staff have had to double their shifts, sometimes without breaks, even though shops are still busy.
These staff members make the same amount of money, and have to work even if they are unable to, because there is no one to cover shifts.
Pret a Manger’s monthly subscription, where you can get “endless” coffees everyday, have lines queuing out onto the streets on most days.
Head of restructuring at KPMG Will Wright, who was hired by Caffè Nero to help with their finances has said that “in putting forward this CVA proposal, the directors have worked hard to strike a fair compromise with stakeholders to provide the flexibility the business urgently needs to get it through the pandemic.”
With all of the focus placed on the business, what about the staff who are now doing twice the workload?
Words: Kenya Best | Subbing: Monika Groening